the commemoration of the (beginning of) the Great War coming soon, the
little known military cemetery of Tarcienne, 200 m west of the N5
south of Charleroi is surely worth a visit.
this cemetery for victims of the Battle of Charleroi you'll find
typically French white concrete memorials as typically German
granit crosses. Principally each French victim received an individual
tomb, while on each German cross two or three names are engraved. In
general these German stones symbolise the presence of the remnants of
the mentioned victims on this cemetery but not an individual place.
central ossuary suggests that victims from both French and German
nationalities share a same space
(123 French of which 54 identified, and 71 Germans).
is also the alternation of white concrete crosses in remembrance of the
apparently dominant catholic French soldiers (even after the French
Revolution) and the white concrete monuments, exactly as high as the
crosses, in the form of a mosque-dome in remenbrance of Islamic
a first vue the white concrete French crosses are only boring, but after
a while some questions are rising.
the more than four hundred French soldiers, also two Russians died on
this place. Does it surprise you that Kuponin, the only known Russian,
died for the fatherland (“mort
pour la patrie”) and not for France? Or for Russia?
And that the unknown
Russian soldier seems to have died for nothing or nobody?
On nearly all the French tombs is marked “mort
pour la France”, what means: died for France.
before enterring this cemetery you will see the bilingual stone as a
socle of an altar, not in Dutch and French but in French and German.
Note that in French soldiers died, in German they died a heroic death
or for who died the unknown French soldier (“soldat français inconnu”)? On his cross isn't mentioned he died
for France (“mort
pour la France”) or for his fatherland ( “mort
pour la patrie”)
One tomb mentions only a unknown somebody (“inconnu”),
even not he (or she) was a soldier, but sure this person died for
France. Somebody on the wrong place at the wrong moment?
||In Charleroi the
Photography Museum has composed a beautiful collection of
daguerrotypes to nowadays photographs. Regularly they have temporary
exhibitions but therefore it is easier to go and consult their site.
||Also in Charleroi there is the
Industry Museum, accommodated on the coal-mine
site of Le Bois du Cazier.
make Cycling Tours in Charleroi with Pro Velo. They have bicycles
for rent and possibly can guide you in English through this industrial
boomtown with coal-mines and immense steel-factories in between living
areas with some splendid houses.
||West of Charleroi the Canal
du Centre connects the bassin of the river Schelde with that of
Samber and Maas. Along this threehundred ton canal lots of trees have
been planted so it is great cycling from the still functionnal
hydraulic ship elevators from the time of king Leopold II over the
beautiful bridges in eclectic style. The more you can find two canal
tunnels on the track of the old canals connecting Charleroi and
||South of Dinant there are the
and Gardens of Freÿr : a little "Versailles" in
renaissance style with gardens in classical French style with a six
kilometers long maze and an orangery with orangetrees of more or less
||Between Namen and Dinant the old parts of the eightteenth
of Annevoie go on to be a wonderfull place for garden
lovers: numerous water parts with fountains and waterfalls without any
pumping installation, bedded in a multitude of hays, but without the
loud colors of the more recent flower carpets.
||In Namen you shouldn't miss the Félicien
Rops museum: a beautiful collection of lithographies,
etchings, aquarells, drawings and paintings of the (in Paris) best
paid illustrator from the late-nineteenth century. Besides his
impressionist landscapes Rops specially acquired notoriety with his
drawings and paintings of the surrounding world with often great
erotic inspired scenes. In this museum is also a library specialised
in nineteenth century engravings, and a museumshop.
in Brussels houses a great collection of porcelain sets of mantelpiece
ornaments from the beginning of the twentieth century. These porcelain
ornaments are forming the cheaper version of the marble ones that are
exhibited at La Calestienne.